KFCB Urges Parents to Take Lead role in Promoting Child Online Safety
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has emphasized the need for parents and caregivers to take the lead role in monitoring content that children under their care access and consume on social media networks, broadcast channels and other digital platforms and guide them appropriately.
While addressing parents on Saturday 23rd September 2023, during a Parents Digital Literacy (PaDiL) sensitization session organized by KFCB and Netflix, at Nyayo Estate, Embakasi, KFCB’s Ag CEO Mr. Joel Wamalwa, said that protecting children from exposure to inappropriate content is a collective responsibility.
He called upon parents, caregivers, opinion leaders, and members of the public to be proactive and support the Government in implementing measures aimed at protecting minors from exposure to inappropriate audio-visual content.
While noting that the internet has become an integral part of life, with a lot of opportunities and benefits, Mr. Wamalwa said that the internet has also created new risks and challenges, particularly for minors.
“Even as we champion child online safety, it is important to note that protecting children from exposure to harmful content is a collective responsibility; and that parents and caregivers bear the greatest responsibility of ensuring that children under their care are not exposed to the myriad dangers that lurk online, including age-inappropriate content, “the Ag CEO said.
He said that the PaDIL that KFCB is implementing in partnership with Netflix, Google, TikTok and other key partners is premised on the basis that parents and caregivers are critical points of contact for children. As such, they need to possess basic skills to employ when helping the young ones under their care to navigate the digital space safely.
As the Government agency mandated by law to examine and classify film audio-visual content for age-appropriateness as well as to give consumer advice on responsible content consumption, the Ag. CEO affirmed KFCB’s commitment to create awareness on the role of parents and society as a whole in ensuring the safety of minors who use digital devices/platforms. Through this collaborative programme, Wamalwa added that the Board intends to address gaps such as limited knowledge on the effects of media content consumption among parents, caregivers, and guardians as well as inadequate knowledge on the available media distribution platforms.
Mr. Wamalwa lauded Netflix and other Video On Demand (VOD) platforms for instituting parental control tools on their respective platforms to ensure that minors accessing the platforms navigate them safely. He said that KFCB will also continue to work with VODs on moderation of content exhibited on their platforms to ensure that it confirms to Kenya’s community guidelines as well as monetization of content for creatives.
Speaking during the session, Netflix’s Director of Public, Sub-Saharan Africa, Ms. Shola Sanni, lauded the PaDIL, noting that it resonates with Netflix awareness programmes targeting to empower parents and caregivers with information in digital parenting and response use of digital spaces for children.
“We will continue to collaborate with KFCB on joint sensitization programmes to create awareness among parents, caregivers and guardians on the available parental controls and safety measures on Netflix to ensure that children are protected from exposure to inappropriate audio-visual content.
Mr. Teddy Obiero, Chairperson, Nyayo Estate Residents Association (NERA), lauded the PaDIL and urged parents to be on the frontline in protecting children from inappropriate content. “We are happy that KFCB in collaboration with partners such as Netflix have seen the need to empower parents with digital skills to enable them to monitor content children access on the digital spaces,” he said.
Other speakers during the public sensitization forum were; Ms. Ziyanda Buthelezi-Ngcobo, Netflix’s Public Policy Manager, Lilian Kariuki (Watoto Watch Network) and Brian King (Mtoto News).